Thursday, March 18, 2010

What a Day

I have spent my day driving and waiting, and being around sick people.

To the dentist to drop off Londo for a root canal, even though he has a bad cold. To my work to pick up my computer, which I had forgotten the day before. Back home to check on a feverish Pumpkin, do some work and pump. Pick up Londo, get some food for lunch and go back home. Waiting with the Pumpkin until the pediatrician's office re-opens after lunch. Taking the Pumpkin to the doctor to check on her fever and ears, and find out that she does indeed have yet another ear infection. To the grocery store to get medicine for the Pumpkin and Londo and the Pookie (for his teething), where I waited with the Pumpkin FOREVER for the prescription to be filled. Finally back home to relieve the nanny and care for the kiddos and hubby.

I'm beat. I just hope I'm not needed as much in the night, cause after that day I could use some sleep.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Arts and Crafts Party

About a month ago, a coworker asked me what we were doing for the Pumpkin's birthday party. I had no idea and told her so. She asked, "Well, what is she into?" I assumed she meant Dora or Backyardigans or some other character. I shrugged and answered the only thing that my daughter consistently loves, "Art." When I later repeated the conversation to my husband, before I could tell him my answer, he said, "Art."

My girl absolutely loves to do arts and crafts. It is the only thing that consistently keeps her attention and entertains her. It's the thing she never seems to get bored with and always wants to do. So it was very fitting for her third birthday party to be an arts and crafts party.

Londo and I planned the party for our house and invited our family and a few close friends with kids. Two weekends ago, we went to Michael's with the kids and bought a ton of supplies for the art and the crafts, from the finger paints to glitter glue to googly eyes. We decided we'd have two "stations" in our house, one in the dining room for fingerpainting and the other in the living room/parlor for crafts, as well as the kitchen for food and the family room for playing with toys.

Last Saturday was the party. We spent Friday night prepping for the arts and crafts projects after the kids were in bed, and Saturday morning getting the food ready and setting up the stations. Thankfully, my MIL and FIL came up Friday night and jumped right in to help. Londo was in charge of setting up the fingerpainting project and room, shopping and preparing the finger foods, and putting together the favor bags. I was in charge of setting up the craft projects and room, getting the favors, and baking (using this recipe, which was delicious) and icing the cakes. The inlaws helped with setting the rooms up, setting the projects up and watching the kids--generally helping out whereever they could.

There were a total of 6 preschool-aged kids and 3 babies (and my teen-aged niece). After everyone arrived and the kids had played a bit (and the adults had started in on the finger foods), Londo lead the kids into the dining room and started them all on finger painting. They each made one or two pictures, and we set them on the table to dry.

Next, we had cake in the living room/parlor (before I put out all the crafty stuff). I had decorated one circular cake as a painter's palette and a square cake as a potrait. (This link shows you the inspiration for the painter's palette. I'll have to upload pics soon to show off what I actually did.)

After the cake and some running around/playing with toys in the family room, I brought the kids back into the parlor for the crafts. I had cut out pieces of construction paper in the shape of animal parts, and the kids could choose between making a lion, a bear or a frog. They glued on the pieces and decorated with puffy balls, googly eyes and markers of all colors. Next, they got the pieces for a crown (front and back pieces) and decorated those with markers, glitter glue and puffy balls.

I really think the party was a big success. Not only did the kids play and eat and have fun, but they were able to take home things they made themselves! And in their favor bags, we had put in plastic frames that was the right size for the finger paint paper Londo had cut so the parents could frame the beautiful art that their child(ren) had made. The kids got to wear their crowns and play with their animals.

And the Pumpkin? She got to do her favorite things with her cousins and friends. She also got to eat cake and play with toys. Not to mention all the great gifts she got, which she opened the next day! It was definitely a great birthday party for my little, 3-year-old girl!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Question of the Week - Languages of Love

Recently, Londo was telling me about the the Five Languages of Love, which comes from a book a marriage counselor wrote. It's pretty fascinating, and I think it explains so much about people and how they connect and disconnect. After all, I doubt every person speaks the exact same language(s) as their partner or even their children!

It boils down to this: what you do to express your love might not be "heard" by the person to whom you are expressing it because they speak a different language of love than you do.

It reminds me of when Londo and I first moved in together. Though we had very little money, we both wanted to express our love for each other and excitement about cohabitating. I distinctly remember coming home one time, and Londo showing me how he cleaned up the living room as a surpise for me! I was happy about that and praised the effort, but I did feel disappointed when I walked in the kitchen and realized it was still a mess. Then a few weeks later, I cleaned the entire kitchen from top to bottom in an effort to be thoughtful to Londo. He was happy and praised my effort, but I soon realized that he wished the living room had been cleaned.

And so we discovered each others "hot spots." It drives me crazy when the kitchen is messy, and if Londo wants to do something for me, he should clean the kitchen. Londo can't stand it when the living room is a mess, and if I want to do something for him, I should clean the living room. If I clean the kitchen, I'm really doing it for me. If he cleans the living room, he is really doing it for him. It's fine for either of us to clean up the room we need cleaned, we just don't act like we are doing it for the other person.

That's what the language of love is like. We all have our primary languages, as well as secondary ones. It's fine to show our love in the ways that are primary and/or more important to us. But if we really want to show another person how much we love them, value them and care about them, we should use their primary (or other high up on the list) language. All the languages are important, and knowing about the other languages can help us all identify and realize when others are showing their love for us.

The five languages are:
-Words of Affirmation
-Quality Time
-Receiving Gifts
-Acts of Service
-Physical Touch

I was pretty sure I knew my primary language and the general break down of the other languages for me, and the assessment quiz pretty much confirmed what I thought.

This week's question of the week is:

What is your primary language of love?

My primary language is Words of Affirmation, followed extremely closely by Quality Time (in fact, they ranked the same on the assessment, but I know that the Words of Affirmation is a bit more important to me). Next on my list was Physical Touch, followed by Acts of Service, with Receiving Gifts coming in last.

I know for a fact that Londo's languages are NOT the same as mine. But I think we've recognized each other's successes and even attempts over the years in all five languages. And now we are on the lookout for what language of love our children speak.

How about you? What language do you prefer? How would you rate the languages for you? Did you take the assessment, and if so, what did you get? Is your partner's language the same as yours? How about your kids? Do tell, so that we can all try to speak each other's languages!